Country Listing

Portugal Table of Contents


Forestry and Fishing

Over a third of the mainland was forest and woodlands, and commercially valuable timber stands included pine, cork oak, and eucalyptus. Pine was used not only for timber but also for resin, pitch, and turpentine. Eucalyptus, a fast growing import from Australia, had become a major source of pulp and paper. Cork oak, found mostly in the Alentejo, was the source of processed cork, a traditional Portuguese export commodity accounting for about 60 percent of world sales.

The country's long coastline and seafaring tradition made fishing a significant, but declining, source of income and jobs. Lisbon, Setúbal, Matosinhos, and Portimão were Portugal's main fishing ports and centers of commercial fish processing. Of the more than 200 edible species caught in Portuguese coastal waters and off West Africa, the most valuable was the sardine, an important source of domestic food supply and, in canned form, a traditional manufactured export product.

Notwithstanding Portugal's maritime tradition, the country's fishing industry in terms of fish catches in 1986 (390,000 tons) compared unfavorably with those of other small European countries, notably Norway (1,898,000 tons), and Denmark (1,871,000 tons).

Data as of January 1993